QTU members' newsflash no.20-19, 22 November 2019
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Teachers' agreement is now certified!

In this issue : Student-free days 2020 | Temporary teachers | Additional TRS for senior secondary teachersSenior teachers and experienced senior teachersEducation officers – special duties  | Teacher-librariansSpecialist teachers in primary and special schools | Back payStudents global climate strikeQTU Natural Disaster Fund

On Tuesday 19 November, the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission (QIRC) certified the enterprise bargaining agreement. All provisions of the new agreement are now in effect and must be complied with. In preparation for certification, a meeting of the Certification Agreement Implementation Committee (CAIC) was convened on Monday afternoon. The CAIC will meet at a minimum four times a year to ensure that the agreement and its initiatives are being implemented.

Student-free days 2020

The certification of the agreement reduces the number of professional development hours (formerly referred to as flexible student-free day hours) from 15 to 10 hours.

Schools have already been working together to agree to the timing of these hours for 2020. 

The gazetted student-free day (SFD) in term four has also been moved to the third last Friday in term three (4 September). This move has occurred to support the implementation of the new senior secondary system. As in previous agreements, the SFD hours on this day may be used flexibly, if agreed to following consultation at the local level. When making decisions about the use of this day, schools should consider the impact on teachers involved in confirmation for the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority (QCAA) on this day. If using the hours flexibly, schools should recognise for confirmation processes hours undertaken on this day, in lieu of attendance at other professional development activities.

Questions have been raised about the impact of the removal of these hours from the autumn holidays on permanent part-time employees and paid leave. The intention of the agreement is not to disadvantage part-time employees nor to incorporate the hours into any paid leave. At the CAIC, the department committed to developing an implementation solution that will ensure this.

The department has also advised that it has requested the re-publication of the school calendar to reflect the new SFD arrangements. [back to top]

Temporary teachers

The department advised the CAIC that temporary teachers would progress on the incremental scale for each 40 weeks they work, regardless of their employment fraction. This way, temporary teachers will not need to work 200 days to increment through the salary scale. This change, consistent with arrangements for permanent part-time teachers, takes effect from 23 January 2020. 

Where a vacancy exists, teachers should be engaged permanently in the first instance. If this is not possible, the department is encouraging schools to continue temporary engagements at least to the end of term one 2020, to ensure the ongoing employment of teachers within the system, given a pending teacher shortage.  [back to top]

Additional TRS for senior secondary teachers

Schools will be provided with funding for one additional day’s TRS per senior secondary teacher in term three. The allocation will be made per senior secondary teacher FTE (not one day per teacher who may teach a senior secondary subject as well as junior secondary subject). The calculations to determine the number of senior secondary FTE in the school will be similar to the method used in previous years when determining the number of senior secondary teachers a school required to ensure a breadth of curriculum for the half cohort.

It is at schools’ discretion how the time is allocated (half-days, full-days etc), but it is quarantined for use for senior secondary, to support implementation of the new secondary assessment and tertiary entrance system. [back to top] 

Senior teachers and experienced senior teachers

The department has advised that senior teachers will now sign the senior teacher undertaking as part of their annual performance review (APR). To access senior teacher, teachers should use the online APR process and complete the performance and development plan (PDP) online. That will then identify that the teacher has a PDP and has signed the undertaking via a check box.  Once this is done, payroll will administer the payment from the date of entitlement.  If someone does not do so in the year before they became entitled, they can sign the undertaking at any time in the APR process and payments will commence from then.

The new process to access experienced senior teacher will be finalised before EST applications are due in term one, 2020. [back to top]

Education officers– special duties (EOSD)

The new arrangement for EOSDs commence with the new agreement.  All new EOSDs will be remunerated at level and have access to school holidays.  Ongoing EOSDs will have the option to continue their current arrangements in a grand-parented/transition process or move to the new arrangements.  If the secondment is to be extended, they will transition to the new arrangements at the end of the current term of the secondment. [back to top]

Teacher-librarians (TLs)

The conditions prescribed by the award continue for TLs. The CAIC will discuss the transition of TLs to new arrangements during 2020. Consequently, the regular use of TLs for non-contact time (NCT) should not occur unless otherwise agreed through the collaborative development of the TLs timetable at the school level. [back to top]

Specialist teachers in primary and special schools

The QTU has sought maintenance of the status quo regarding specialist teacher provision of NCT until the matter is dealt with at the CAIC.  Currently, NCT is provided in primary and special schools in the following ways:

PE     –   30 mins/class
Music   –   30 mins/class
Languages  –   60 mins/class of year five and six
NCT  –   balance of NCT requirements of the school not covered by specialist teachers

When a specialist position becomes substantively vacant, the school can review the allocation of NCT but must provide each of the specialist services to at least the minimum time allocation above. It is the non-specialist designated NCT allocation that can be provided in another form.  It is important to note that if creating a position with a similar mode of delivery to that of a PE, music or languages specialist (e.g. a dance teacher who delivers dance to prep-6 or prep-3 and then reports on each student), that position will also be subject to the specialist teacher conditions.   [back to top]

Back pay

Members were advised in Newsflash No. 18-19 (5 November) that the payments under the new agreement would be separated from leave loading payments. The agreement provides that the new salaries will be paid in the pay cycle most practicable after the certification of the agreement.

The arrangements for payment of increases will be: 

4 December     –    leave loading
18 December     –     temporary teacher termination payments
1 January     –     $1,250 one-off payment (for those eligible)
15 January     –     back pay and new classification increases.

The QTU appreciates that members have been waiting for some time for the salary increases, however now the agreement is certified, this is the most practical payment cycle. [back to top]

Students global climate strike

At its meeting on 2 November, QTU State Council received reports from two student climate strike activists. State Council reaffirmed its ongoing support for these actions. Further action in the form of a sit-down at Members of Parliament offices and in Queens Gardens (Brisbane 1-3pm) is planned for Friday 29 November. Once again, the QTU will support members who take action on this date. [back to top]

QTU meetings and resolutions

QTU representatives should consider holding a workplace meeting in support of the student strike for climate change and to discuss the following resolutions and actions. 

1.    THAT QTU members at (school name) support urgent and far-reaching actions by Australian governments to address the causes and impacts of global warming and climate breakdown before it is too late.

2.    THAT QTU members at (school name) express their support for students participating in the global climate strike, a practical exercise of the active and informed citizenship for which students are educated.

3.    QTU members host a workplace morning/afternoon tea to share information about the 29 November #ThisIsClimateChange strike and how the climate crisis impacts upon us.

If QTU members wish to participate in the planned actions on Friday 29 November, the following resolution would also need to be supported at a workplace meeting:

4. THAT QTU members at (school name) request that the QTU issue a directive for QTU members of (school name) to walk-off the job at (time) on Friday 29 November to enable participation in the global climate strike.. 

If the fourth resolution is endorsed, QTU Representatives at the school should, in the first instance, discuss with the principal the school’s capacity to re-organise and release representatives of the staff. Those QTU members who stop work from 12 noon to support the global climate strike are likely to lose three hours pay and will be issued with a directive by the QTU to stop work from 12 noon until the end of the school day.. [back to top]

QTU Natural Disaster Fund 

Our thoughts are with all members and their families who have been affected by the disastrous bushfires affecting Queensland and NSW. 

Please be aware that financial members who may have experienced some loss of property may be eligible for a natural disaster relief grant. Check the QTU website for further details at  or contact your QTU Organiser.  [back to top]

 Authorised by Kate Ruttiman, General Secretary, Queensland Teachers' Union
21 Graham Street, Milton, QLD, Australia, 4064

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